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Vain 5 Main

"The Vain #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Oni Press


Written by Eliot Rahal
Illustrated by Emily Pearson
Colored by Fred C. Stresing with assistance by Macy Kahn
Lettered by Crank!
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 10th, 2021


After pulling off heists, fighting Nazis, and escaping capture, this group of vampires has reached the end of the road. The Vain jumps ahead to the present day as the vamps prepare for one more big score, but all is not what it seems, as Felix, obsessed with finding these bloodsuckers, has finally caught up to them.

The leaps through time have been an interesting plot device in The Vain, as well as a hindrance. It can be tough to develop characters without seeing some of the moments from those years in between. This issue helps tie a lot of that together though. Writer Eliot Rahal showcases just how deep these relationships run with some pointed dialogue. Perhaps what's most revealing is what's left unsaid or what's implied. You can feel the weight on the shoulders of these beings that have been struggling to live among bloodshed and darkness for generations. It must be exhausting.

Click images to enlarge

This makes me wonder if they knew what was waiting for them with this score. Did they know it was a trap and they walked right into it? It's an interesting idea either way. Letterer Crank! delivers a very poignant line towards the end of this issue in a smaller font that might back up this idea. It's shown as a kind of acceptance that this is their fate.

Artist Emily Pearson stays with the trends, updating the looks of each characters to coincide with the setting. Her design work has been off the charts in The Vain from the first issue. That tired feeling is also on full display in the eyes of each vampire. They've been through so much during their long lives and what do they really have to show for it?

Felix is the odd man out in The Vain. He was once an FBI Agent that stumbled upon this group and has been trying to expose them ever since. It's destroyed his life and now he's a shell of the man he once was. Felix was definitely dealt a bad hand, especially by his former employers who even worked with the vampires at one point. While he fills the role of the villain in The Vain, he's not nearly developed enough for us to care about his actions all that much. They feel hollow, like he's doing this just to do it, despite everything he's lost.

Click images to enlarge

The Vain concludes with a haze of bullets and an unexpected and beautiful climax. Colorist Fred C. Sterling, aided by Macy Kahn, brings this to life in a startling fashion. The dark of the night is invaded with bursts of red blood and orange fire. The final page is absolutely gorgeous all around.

The Vain condenses decades of these characters lives into just five chapters. A lot is glossed over, but the gist of it comes through. The tragic lives of the vampires are what drives this series and particularly this finale. Sure, they're basically immortal, but what has that cost them? It's an interesting character study for the tragic lives of these creatures. Despite their hunger for blood, they still love like anyone else, although their love often ends in bloodshed.


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
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Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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